Posts tagged ‘preterm labor’
Guess who encountered a major party foul yesterday? Yup, me.
Apparently with the wonderful Seattle heat (its in the 90′s here) combined with some of my new found freedoms, I didnt keep up my fluids as well as I should have. I swear I drank about 3 L of water, but barely peed and when I did it was clear that I wasnt hydrated enough (because the urine was deep yellow). At about 6pm I realized that the discomfort I was having in my low back was actually coming and going. After paying a little more attention to it, I realized that it would come on stay for about 30seconds and then go away. This was happening every 12-15minutes consistently for an hour.
I drank some water, took it easy, and then decided that it was time to go into L&D to have it checked out. Im just not interested in risking anything with the Baby.
My blood pressure was slightly elevated at 138/94 but they were only seeing uterine irritability on the toco monitor, no true contractions. NoNo was incredibly active so I wasnt worried about him and neither were they. Urine sample came back with protein and a ton of glucose. They did a glucose check (blood) and it came back 140 on the glucometer. The speculum exam was clear, samples are all negative (FFN, Smear, wet prep) and my cervix appears closed with the cerclage intact.
Now they are pretty darn sure its dehydration. The doctor was concerned about the amount of swelling I am having combined with the protein and blood pressure it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia (I will post about this more in the upcoming days). He rechecked my blood pressure and it was still in the same slightly elevated range. Rather than keeping me or doing further testing he decided to send me home with orders to hydrate hydrate hydrate all weekend and then see what my doctor wants to do (I see him Tuesday).
Darn…guess I scored a party foul. More water, less playing. Back to “couch resting” it until Tuesday. The freedom was alot of fun while it lasted
The 3 hour glucose tolerance test was just as horrible as it was four weeks ago. This time I didnt start to feel
Sick until after I ate.
I wound up with headache and the shakes all afternoon. After a nap and like 3 meals Im finally feeling back to normal.
Now Im tempting fate by working with my Mom to address my modified baby shower invitations. The event is supposed to be in two weeks, and last time we all know what happened.
Im keeping my fingers (and legs) crossed that Nolan stays put so that we can enjoy and celebrate the event.
Tell me about your baby shower? Favorite events? Best gift? What did you give as a party favor?
Since I enjoyed the last 3 hour glucose tolerance test so very much, I am doing it again.
I dont know if I mentioned that I passed by a mere 1 point, so the Doctor has been nice enough to allow me to participate in such a phenomenal event AGAIN.
Im starving already and its the butt crack of dawn, I still have a couple hours before I can go to the lab to get this show started. Now here I sit, hungry with Nolan shaking and moving.
Last time I ended up shakey and sick all day after the test, Im really hoping that today goes better. I will post when I get home, after I eat everything in sight of course.
What did you have for breakfast?
Im rotating between a dark place and pure joy that I am still carrying my son. I have alot of guilt over my bodies failures and yet I am so glad that so far Nolan seems unbothered by any of this.
I feel selfish when I miss Nursing school or when I am mourning the delay of my graduation because I can think of a dozen people who woukd give anything to be sitting here and pregnant.
I feel alone and yet so supported. My own thoughts are so loud without the chaos of my life to drown them out. I focus on the ramblings of my mind and then get swept away.
Im not trying to sound ungreatful. Not at all. I am so happy that I get this opportunity to be able to feel this baby growing inside me. I feel blessed that he is so healthy. I am amazed at the ability of the doctors to keep me pregnant even when my body is done. Im just….thoughtful. Im like a walking oxymoron.
No one ever expects this. But this is not what I had planned. And as my good friend would remind me “People plan and God laughs”.
I guess its good to really remember who is in control. But sometimes its hard.
What sayings inspire you?
At yesterdays appointment I was given awesome news. It was fabulous news. But nothing was as good as seeing the faces of the doctors as they were giving me the good news.
There was no more mention of “if” I achieve viability. No more mention of “if” the cerclage works. There was talk of “when” I reach 36 weeks they will remove the cerclage. The doctor said that “when” I go into labor she thinks it will be very quick (please remind me of this in September!). And the best part was that the doctor said “when” Nolan is born they will be happy to complete the overseas screening for us BOTH so we can join my Hubby in Japan.
All those “ifs” dissapeared and were replaced with “whens”. It was amazing. I cried tears of joy. Tears of relief. And tears of disbelief.
I know that there are alot of days and weeks between now and Nolan’s due date, but just knowing that we are in a safer zone makes me breathe a little easier.
I saw my son on the ultrasound again today. He is now feet down and tap dancing on my bladder (he kicked so hard I even peed a little!). He had a heart rate of 152bpm and looked beautiful.
Yesterday my prayers were answered. I can only imagine what a special child Nolan must be to have gained the love, support and prayers from so many. His life has reminded me of the beauty of humanity. A lesson I wont forget.
Thank you all for following our journey. Thank you for helping shape our outcome. Thank you!
Having only ever chosen names for my dogs, I found that it was much more difficult to pick a name for a person. I love names, I think they just define who you are. I can picture a person once Ive heard their name. Maybe its just me. But I had criteria. The name had to be serious enough to be an adult name, but either cute enough to fit a toddler or have a nickname that would allow us to shorten the name. It had to flow well with our last name and I just had to fall in LOVE with it right away.
I didnt want a name that was too common or too strange. No Apples or Moses names for us, thank you very much. (Not that those are bad names, just not my taste!)
So shortly after conception we started seriously looking at names. We really loved the name Liam and so we looked up the meaning and found that it meant “Ruler of the south”. At the bottom it gave other names with similar meaning or origin and it had listed the name Nolan. Nolan means “Ruler of the North”. When we first found out we were pregnant and the doctors were concerned that I may have been having twins we tossed back and forth the idea of naming twins Nolan and Liam. But Liam became our second choice name and Nolan became our favorite. When I closed my eyes and pictured our son, I saw him as Nolan. I dont know how to explain it, but from the moment the name flowed off my tongue it was the “perfect” name for us. The hubby loved it and we were decided.
Now for middle names…. My middle name is a combination of my Maternal and Paternal grandmothers middle names. My husbands middle name is the same as his fathers. We wanted to follow some sort of family significance with the middle name. After running through the list of family names and tossing out the ones that wouldnt flow, sounded funny, or just werent “right” we came across Andres.
Andres was my Husbands Maternal Uncle who passed away when he was little from an illness. He is well known as “El Nino” around the family and is remembered, thought of and loved. This meant so much to me because it isnt very common for the deceased to be thought of and spoken of so much, especially one who passed away 50+ years ago. It touched me. And Andres means Andrew, which was another of our favorites.
And so….Nolan Andres it is. Our son, our child. Our Nolan.
How did you pick your childrens names?
Yesterday was wonderful, a beautiful PNW Saturday. And a day to thank God for. Another day to be pregnant with my amazing son. The MFM doctor was nice enough to come in today to discharge me instead of having me meet the weekend doctor team. Dr.T showed up and we talked about my cramping, spotting and fetal movements. She gave me the option of staying an extra night just for my psychological well being, or going home. We discussed the options and since neither of us could see a reason for me to stay we both agreed I would go home.
I was instructed to go back to a modified bedrest. She does NOT want me laying in bed all day because she worries that with my luck I would end up with a DVT (blood clot), so instead I am instructed to “couch” rest it until Monday and then we will re-evaluate my abilities. Ideally she would like me to do some very slow walking until week 28 to prevent deconditioning, but she wants to be very cautious as my cervix is only 0.6cm. Personally I am not sure I feel comfortable doing much more than walking to the bathroom. But we will see as I get further along and things are looking good.
Things I am absolutely not allowed to do are: running, lifting, squatting, baths (due to infection risk), and anything that causes cramping. I need to listen to my body, if I start to hurt I need to stop. Im nervous because if the cerclage fails then there arent any other options for me.
Anyhow…as we were heading back to the car (me in a wheelchair) my Dad was nice enough to push me around the lake so I could get some fresh air and see the water fowl. What we saw just made my entire day!
Do you see all the babies? They were wandering around and starting to get annoyed at us. But gosh they were cute!
The Mama and Papa geese were hissing at us, so we decided to continue on around the lake and see the next surprise…
Do you see those two white specks in the back? Well, I could see this from my room and really wanted to get a closer look.
While I stayed on the path in the wheelchair my Dad headed onto the grass to get a closer picture of the swan. I cant even tell you how much this made me smile. I just feel like the swans are good luck. They seem to just provide me comfort that things will be ok, Nolan will be fine. And regardless of how silly that sounds, it makes me feel better.
After the walk (wheel chair ride) we headed back to the house and I was exhausted. I never would have imagined that a simple car ride would exhaust me so much.
And now I am back home, and snuggled in bed taking it easy. Follow up appointments on Monday with the MFM and the High Risk OB.
Thank you everyone….I cant say it enough. I dont know how to describe what all the positive comments have meant. I cried reading them all, I dont know if there is any way to thank you enough.
From us all HUGE THANKS!
Wearing the beautiful hospital gown, toco monitor in place, SCDs on and humming, IV in right hand and fluids running at TKO. Assessments ecery 2 hours, including fetal heart tones. Call light at my side and NPO incase of sugery tomorrow.
I feel chaotic and helpless. The nursing staff are awesome but words like “Type and cross” and “blood band for just in case transfusion” dont evoke the most relaxed of feelings.
What does it mean when your doctor comes in to hug you? Surely that isnt a sign of good news.
So many “whys”. So many. Too many. The buzz of the machines around me is familiar and makes me smile a little when I think of clinicals.
This will make me a better person/parent/nurse, right?
We can survive this, right? Both of us?
I had been posting the change of week on either Sundays or Mondays as that was originally when my week counter for Baby Bean would change over. At todays appointment the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor re-evaluated my earliest ultrasound, and agreed with my dates of ovulation. This puts our new due date at 09/15/10.
The benefit to this, in my situation, is that it puts me a little closer to viability. It also lets them know when I am no longer a candidate for a cerclage. (More on the cerclage towards the end.) So….on Wednesdays I will now be posting (starting this week!) the weekly meme.
Todays appointment was nice. I love the Army Doc, he is just the sweetest and most personable doctor I have EVER met. And I love that he is on the ball when it comes to follow up, planning, and information. I got weighed, and my vitals taken and everything looked fabulous and stable there. Then he came in and we talked about changing medications from the Ibuprophen to Procardia as a tocolytic (contraction stopper). We both agreed that Procardia was less dangerous than the Ibuprophen and since I am still having cramping with the Ibuprophen that it probably wasnt working. (Ibuprophen in pregnancy can cause the baby to have a decreased amount of urination thereby decreasing the amount of amniotic fluid and overloading the babies system, it can also cause the ductus (part of the circulatory system) to close.) So now I am taking Procardia every 6 hours.
My cervix is stable and measuring at about 1.4cm with fundal pressure and 1.6cm without any pressure. So it hasnt really changed much since last week, and that is good news! From the outside I am not dialated and the Doc stated that my cervix looks beautiful (Never gotten that complement before!), again this is fabulous news!
Now about the cerclage (a stitch in the cervix that helps to prevent or decrease the amount of dialation), the doctors are hesitant to perform this procedure because I am having a lot of cramping and some intermittent contractions. This is not ideal territory for a cerclage because if I start to contract more regularly I can wind up hurting myself (cerclage can tear). So for now, we are just going to continue on modified bedrest and weekly appointments with ultrasound to monitor.
On a side note, baby is still head down and the doctor said he/she is really super cute!
Total weight gain/loss: Still down by 1 lbs from my prepregnancy weight. But the pounds are starting to pack on.
Maternity clothes?: Yes and without end in sight
Stretch marks? Still just the one, thank GAWD!
Sleep: Sleeping good when baby is sleeping, but our schedules are reversed so he/she kicks when Im sleeping.
Best moment this week: Getting some positive news, even if it wasnt really a change.
Worst Moment this week: Another trip to L&D, being all high risk, having some scary cramping, feeling what I think may have been a contraction (almost dropped me to my knees), and lots of worrying. And finding out I will have to wait until Spring 2011 to finish the last class for school. And only passing my three hour glucose test by a lil bit, now I have to retake it in 4 weeks, yuck!
Movement: We seem to be the busiest in the evening and into the night, but Beans is a busy baby!
Food cravings/aversions: Really wanting cheese and crackers, and cold water. Suddenly hungry all the time.
Belly Button in or out?: Mis-shapen innie still….and my scar from my belly button piercing is really showing!
Gender: I really think boy, but dang there are some cute girl clothes out there!
What I miss: Coffee and a glass of red wine and soaking in the hot tub. Now I miss just being able to go do SOMETHING!
What I am looking forward to: Appointment today to find out how my cervix is hanging on. Getting closer to viability, and delivering a sweet healthy baby.
Weekly Wisdom: It is ok to just ignore something/someone until you are capable of dealing with it rationally.
Milestones: Lots of movement!
Symptoms: Heart burn, reflux, constipation, nausea, and lots of emotions over the news.
Dear Baby Mono (Monkey),
Today some members of your Grandma’s church came over to offer us a blessing. I sat in a chair as two men from the priesthood laid their hands on my head and prayed for a safe journey for you to come into the world. They prayed that you would be able to feel the love that all your family has for you. They prayed that the doctors would be able to manage our care and keep you snuggled down inside until you can come out safely. And my dear sweet Baby they prayed that we would be able to show you, as parents, how much God loves you.
While they laid their hands on my head and spoke to God on our behalf, I cried. I cried tears of joy that people love us enough to offer a prayer on our behalf. I cried because of all the people in this world that are praying and cheering for you to be safe. I cried because I felt love wash over me. I cried because I love you so much. And I cried because I needed a release.
Baby, you are so loved. And you are so important to everyone. You are a miracle, and I am trying very hard to put my faith in God that HE will keep you safe. I am doing everything I can, and I need you to do your part too. Please stay put, dont be in such a hurry to come out. I promise that there will be plenty of fun stuff to do even if you wait another 5 months. Take your time baby, and I will be patient and take mine.
I love you to the moon and back,
I was told that this genetic mutation can cause hyperhomocysteinemia which can be treated by high doses of folic acid and /or B12 and B9. This condition is known as a cause for recurrent miscarriage and difficulty with conception. I was blessed to have it on both strands of my DNA, meaning that it was gifted from both of my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad!
What does this mean for me? Well, it means that they may have found a reason for my previous losses. On the flip side, we didnt find this out until I was 12 weeks and Baby Bean was comfortably snuggled in already. We dont know why this baby has managed to hang out when none of the previous have. There is no evidence supporting any link of MTHFR and Cervical Incompetence., or atleast I havent been able to find any and the genetecist I talked to wasnt able to find any link either.
This just means that in the future we will be very aware of my levels of folic acid and B12/B9. I am currently taking a B complex vitamin and my recent homocyteine level showed that I am in the “average” zone. Meaning that I am doing exactly what I need to.
I have found alot of links that show a common ground between MTHFR and downs syndrome for the baby, blood clots for me, pre-eclampsia and many other birth defects for the baby. These are all things to be aware of. But they wont deter us from trying for the family we want.
Hope this helps! Please feel free to add any information if you know something that I didnt post!
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am a “high energy” person. I like to be go-go-going constantly. There is rarely a moment when I am not doing three things at once and planning for another two. I was doing all this for the past 20 months in an especially multifunctional manner. Clinicals, studying, being a wife, growing a fetus, and still trying to be a “nice” person. I thought I was managing in a good way, getting everything accomplished. It turns out I was failing on many levels.
I was thriving at clinicals, coasting through being a wife (mostly because he was deployed) but I was failing at growing my fetus and keeping it safe, and not even putting a dash of effort into being a “nice” person.
I was short with my patience with everyone. I was mean to my husband on more than one account. I forgot peoples birthdays. And if those things alone werent enough to make me wince, I was also completley ignoring my peers. Ive not been quiet about my discontent with my nursing program, but I never realized the women that I am surrounded by unless they annoyed me.
It turns out that they are fabulous. I have had more emails of support, cards, phone calls, and visits from women that I never gave the time of day then I could ever have imagined. What a humbling experience that they have taken time out of their days to stop and focus on me, and I never took a moment to get to know them.
Being busy shouldnt be an excuse. Ever. You never know what someone is going through and how much a simple email of support can mean. Because it means so much to me now. I get it, I understand now. I wont make that mistake again.
Im slowing my roll, reducing my pace (granted its on doctors orders, but still I AM doing it!) and in the process I have found a second to discover peace.
Peace is having nothing more to do than to spend a moment talking to my baby, encouraging him/her and telling the baby all about his/her Daddy. Telling stories to my belly, and enjoying every second of it. It was peaceful.
Lab draws later today for a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. Praying to pass….
My cervical length was ever so slightly better today than yesterday. Yesterday was 1.3cm, and today it was 1.6cm. Its not a huge difference, but it made my day!
Im still on bedrest, still taking it easy…but Good Lord I needed some good news!
Thank you everyone for the well wishes! And for the prayers! It is all definitly helping!
To celebrate this wonderful news Im gonna go eat some more carbs!
Who would have thought that just sitting in those chairs could make my blood pressure raise?!
The appointment today was eventful but ended on a positive note. My cervical length is sitting at 1.3cm so no real severe change since Friday. And thats good.
I wound up being sent to L&D again for
Some observation because they saw in the ultrasound that the baby was head down and “engaged”. They got concerned and wanted to make sure that I wasnt contracting.
After 1.5 hrs on the toco (contraction) monitor there we ZERO contractions. Awesome-sauce! The doctor said I could go home.
Baby looked fabulous, and the little Monkey is just as dramatic as its Mama. When the transducer passed
Over Bean’s head the lil Monkey put his/her hand over his/her face. As if saying “no more paparatzi!” so funny!! Heart beat 150 bpm and kicking up a storm!
The appointment ended with them modifying my bedrest, I am allowed to leave the house 1-2x week if I am in a wheelchair. He does not want me walking further than this distance from the couch to the bathroom. But they dont want me lying flat on my back either. Its a fine line to walk.
I was put on Mortin 400mg three times per day. They decided to use this as a tocolytic (contraction stopper) because it has less toxic effects and they dont want to use the BIG GUNS quite yet. This will also help to ease my irritable uterus.
Yes, thats right my chart now says that I am both incompetent (cervix) and irritable (uterus). Wow! Im so loving the wonderful words used in relation to me.
In the mean time I am trying to decide how much I really want to go to the grocery store, is it worth riding in the electric wheelchair? Maybe I will just send some ine else to get the stuff and remain here in my bed with y’all.
I may not be fit for society, Im feeling incompetent and irritable. Watch out world!
I thought I was finally over the fear of showing up for an appointment and getting bad news. I can feel the baby move periodically and I whip out my doppler any time I need reassurance, so appointments were becoming less stressful and almost enjoyable…until last Friday.
It hadnt really occured to me that there could be more wrong than a dead baby. I mostly focused on whether baby would have a heart beat or not, and since like I said I can now feel the baby move I was not so freaked out about that. Then with the earth shattering news of IC (incompentent cervix) and hearing the words “preterm labor”, I am now startlingly aware of the fact that there are numerous more things that can go wrong.
So here I sit a few hours before my first follow up appointment, on day four of bedrest, and Im praying that my cervical length is reassuring. Im afraid to get excited about the appointment, afraid that I will be given even worse news. Im just afraid.
I will post more once I know it. Thank you again everyone for the positive thoughts and prayers, it really is helping me get through all of this!
Yes, that is the diagnosis. Incompetent Cervix. Its also called “Cervical weakness”, neither of which are things I would like used to describe me or any part of my body.
Bedrest is pretty boring. My day pretty much involved me sitting on the couch and taking a nap. Although a good friend stopped by and brought goodies, and another friend stopped by and chit chatted for a couple hours. Having the visitors really made the time fly by.
The doctor called and told me that I failed the one hour blood glucose test. Less than 130 is normal and I was at 144. This means that I now have to take the three hour blood glucose test to try and rule out gestational diabetes. According to my doctor about 50% of people fail the one hour test and of those only around 10% wind up with gestational diabetes.
I asked him if my cervical issues can be attributed to gestational diabetes and he was clear that they are not connected in ANY way. And that it would be purely coincidental that I have both cerival incompetence and gestational diabetes. He joked that it would be like winning the lotto (in a bad way), so if it turns out that I have both, then I assure you I will be buying lotto tickets.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be put on hospital bedrest on Monday. I just really dont think that they will send me back home. I have alot of hope that my cervical length will get better, but I just dont realistically think that it will. Im praying that it wont get shorter, thats for sure.
I have a feeling that this blog is going to become more of a OB blog, but since I wanted to be a L&D nurse, I suppose its pretty ironic.
I will post more as soon as I know something…..Thank you everyone for the words of support, encouragement and prayers! They are really helping me make it through.
Its kinda funny how fast things change in life. One minute Im a happily pregnant woman contemplating and stressing the plans for my baby shower, recovering from my own demons of pregnancy loss. And then the next I am laying in bed fighting to make it to
Viability (24 weeks).
The anatomy scan was great. The baby looks perfect, measuring exactly right and beating me up from the inside. Heart rate 150, active, 4 chamber heart, ventricles in the brain are beautiful, 4 limbs, 10 fingers, 10 toes. The baby is perfect.
Even better news is that my placenta is posterior but away from the cervical opening (os) so no more worry about Placenta Previa. Excellent.
Then the sonographer starts getting quiet. She stops explaining and repeatedly measures the same area over and over. Finally she says that my cervix is opening on the fetal side and it appears like I am starting preterm labor. I feel my heart drop to my knees. She leaves the room to get the DR.
She returns with the dildocam and needs to do an internal measurement. The rest flew by as I barely was able to breathe.
Within 10 minutes I was sitting in a room with a MFM doc, high risk Ob and the lead staff OB doc for labor and delivery. My cervix is measuring between 1.4 and 1.6cm. Normal is 4cm. 3cm is ok zone. Less than 2.5cm is very concerning. Less than 2.0cm is alarming. And I sit at 1.4cm with pressure, which puts me in the “tighten your asshole” zone. For as early as I am this is disasterous.
Another 10 minutes and I am being strapped into the monitors on L&D to watch the heartbeat and to Watch for contractions.
The doctor comes in and says that they are going to monitor me For a few hours and if there are any contractions then I will be staying at the hospital until I deliver.
After 2.5 hrs of monitoring there are no contractions and the DR decides I can go home. On bedrest. I was told to
Return on Monday for more testing and informed that I should be bringing a bag with me and I should be prepared
To stay at the hospital.
On the way in to the hospital I was wearing my pretty jewelry, hair done, makeup on, cute smirk.
On the way out of the hospital I am wearing a blood band for possible transfusion incase of abruption, hair messy and damp, makeup smeared from crying, with no smile.
This is not my life. I did NOT just have to postpone graduation until the baby arrives, I did NOT just get told that I wont be moving until after the baby, I did not just get put On bed rest.
This isnt me. I dont deserve this. Ive
Paid my dues. Im supposed to be allowed to bring home a live baby.
Im in complete shock. In the matter of a second my life changed. I was so sure that everything was going right that I sent out invitations to the baby shower.
I jinxed it.